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Maximum Likelihood phylogeny showing phylogenetic position of Myceliophthora (Corynascus) similis.
Maximum Likelihood phylogeny showing phylogenetic position of Myceliophthora (Corynascus) similis.

Myceliophthora (Corynascus) similis is a species within the Chaetomiaceae that has been referred to as thermotolerant (Stchigel et al. 2000). First described as Corynascus similis, it was moved to Myceliophthora based on phylogenetic analyses and changes in the rules of fungal nomenclature (van den Brink et al. 2012). Members of the Chaetomiaceae are among the most common fungal species encountered in studies of biomass degradation in natural settings and engineered compost. They are known for their abilities to produce carbohydrate-active enzymes and are therefore relevant to DOE (Department of Energy) missions in the biofuels industry and in understanding global carbon cycling. Species in the family range from those that are cold adapted to thermophiles. Thermophilic Chaetomiaceae are of particular interest because they produce thermally stable enzymes and grow under high temperatures that prevent contamination from other microorganisms. The genomes of two thermophilic species belonging to the Chaetomiaceae were reported previously as a result of JGI efforts (Berka et al. 2011). The genomes of several additional species been acquired as part of an expanded whole-genome comparative project designed to identify genomic and regulatory changes underlying evolutionary shifts in optimal growth temperature. Thermophilic and thermotolerant species being examined include Myceliophthora heterothallica, Thielavia arenaria and Myceliophthora similis. Mesophilic species include T. appendiculata, T. hyrcaniae and others. Analysis of these genomes is ongoing (Hutchinson et al. 2016).


Berka, R.M., I.V. Grigoriev, R. Otillar, A. Salamov, J. Grimwood, I. Reid, N. Ishmael, T. John, C. Darmond, M.-C. Moisan, B. Henrissat, P.M. Coutinho, V. Lombard, D.O. Natvig, E. Lindquist, J. Schmutz, S. Lucas, P. Harris, J. Powlowski, A. Bellemare, D. Taylor, G. Butler, R.P. de Vries, I.E. Allijn, J. van den Brink, S. Ushinsky, R. Storms, A.J. Powell, I.T. Paulsen, L.D.H. Elbournei, S.E. Baker, J. Magnuson, S. LaBoissiere, A.J. Clutterbuck, D. Martinez, M. Wogulis, A. Lopez de Leon, M.W. Rey, and A. Tsang. 2011. Comparative genomic analysis of the thermophilic biomass-degrading fungi Myceliophthora thermophila and Thielavia terrestris.  Nature Biotechnology doi:10.1038/nbt.1976.

Hutchinson, M.I., A.J. Powell, A. Tsang, N. O’Toole, R.M. Berka, K. Barry, I.V. Grigoriev, and D.O. Natvig. 2016. Genetics of mating in members of the Chaetomiaceae as revealed by experimental and genomic characterization of reproduction in Myceliophthora heterothallica.  Fungal Genetics and Biology 86:9-19. doi.org/10.1016/j.fgb.2015.11.007

Stchigel, A.M., M. Sagués, J. Cano, and J. Guarro. 2000. Three new thermotolerant species of Corynascus from soil, with a key to the known species. Mycological Research 104:879–887.

van den Brink, J., R.A. Samson, F. Hagen, T. Boekhout, and R.P. de Vries, 2012. Phylogeny of the industrial relevant, thermophilic genera Myceliophthora and Corynascus. Fungal Diversity 52:197–207.